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How does exercise affect the Keto Diet

One of the reasons, I love the keto diet is that by following this diet, I do not have to exercise to maintain my weight. You can successfully achieve your weight loss goal without so much as adding an evening stroll around the block to your daily routine.

However, many are interested in exercise or have already established their exercise routine and have concerns about macronutrients (protein, fat and carbohydrates).

Establishing Goals

It’s essential to first establish a goal for exercising.  Is your goal:

  • Getting healthier
  • Adding activity to a sedentary lifestyle
  • Increase endurance and stamina
  • Weight loss
  • Muscle gain
  • Muscle tone

There is an endless supply of reasons for exercising, from heart health to intense bodybuilding.

The goal, however, determines a great deal as to when adjusting macronutrients is necessary for maximum effects.

Adding an exercise routine to virtually any diet where there is a calorie deficit will enhance weight loss results and improve overall health. Likewise, adding exercise to a diet with a calorie surplus will enhance muscle gain and improve performance. When you add exercise to the ketogenic diet, the body uses fat for energy at an increased rate, and often the results are noticeable in just a short period.

Keto Diet in Relation to Types of Exercise

There is a lot of confusion regarding the nature of exercises one should or should not do while on Ketosis. “Should I carb-up before the workout or post-workout?” is what a lot of people ask me.

The answer is both Yes and No.

It depends on the type of workout.

   Aerobic Exercise /”Cardio”

These exercises are longer in duration and of low intensity. You are probably already doing Cardio if you practice Walking.

Workout routines where you move your body for three minutes or more without a break is cardio. Zumba and Dancing are good examples of cardio! Aerobics usually do not require adjustments to macros. These exercises are fat-burning activities and are ideal for weight loss.

   Flexibility & Stability Exercise

Stretching exercises, Yoga, Pilates and any balancing routines make up this group. These exercises are aimed at muscle tone while still being low impact. Wall squats while doing any number of bicep curls with 5 lb weights is a good example. These flexibility exercises work simultaneously on the core, arms and legs. Increasing carbs isn’t usually necessary for such fat-burning activities.

Strength & High-Intensity Exercise

If you are an athlete, bodybuilder, weight lifter or someone who does Cross Fit, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) you fall in this category. These will need an increase in Carbohydrate intake as these are carb-burners exercises.
Adjusting Macronutrients

while following a Ketogenic lifestyle, you are most probably under-eating or over-eating while exercising.

A reason for weight gain or weight stalls while on a keto diet is eating the wrong food for the type of exercise. Sometimes you don’t eat enough or are overeating of the wrong food.

Here is the Solution:
Don’t change a thing for Cardio. If you feel sluggish after an exercise, eat a healthy snack featuring good fats and a little protein. Something like a cream cheese spread on a piece of ham and rolled on a dill pickle (ham and pickle roll-ups) should work fine.
It’s okay to increase protein or even carbs for flexibility exercises. Make sure your choice of protein is right. On exercise days, you may increase your protein intake by 10-15 grams. The extra protein helps to retain muscle mass while still losing fat.

Half a bowl of Berries or few almonds is good carb-ups for stability exercise. These small amounts of carbs a small bust of required energy without taking your body out of Ketosis. Ketosis Along with these cabs add-in some good fats and proteins like boiled egg & avocado salad.

Definitely get in additional carbs while doing High-Intensity workouts. Start with 15 to 20 grams of extra carbs during pre & post-workout, and you may make further adjustments as necessary. Fruits are the best option here as fruits are considered to be fast-acting and clean carbs.

Your Next Step – Pay attention to your body

We are all different. What works best for me might not work for you. Paying attention to your body is the best advice I can give Listen to the body. Feed it what’s necessary.

Sometimes there’s a period of adjustments until you discover the right combination of macros. Make good choices and enjoy the results!

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